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What to do if you feel dizzy after eating

Health & Science


 A man holds unto his head after feeling dizzy. [Getty Images]

Eating keeps our bodies running, powering us through the day with energy and vitality. Sometimes, however, instead of feeling energised after a meal, we might feel a bit dizzy and disoriented. 

According to Grace Njuguna, a clinical nutritionist from Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital, the feeling of being dizzy after eating is referred to as postprandial hypotension. 

It can be caused by a number of reasons  like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), low blood pressure, low blood sugar, dietary triggers, medications, and nervous system disorders. 

“Intake of large meals increasing blood flow to the stomach leading to a drop in blood pressure can cause dizziness after eating. However, it is better to talk to your doctor to rule out all the causes before treatment,” Njuguna advises. 

When this happens, it is important to know what to do to help ourselves feel better and get back on track. 

There are several techniques that people can use to prevent or minimise this symptom, and it usually depends on the underlying cause. 

Eat small meals in a day: Njuguna says, “instead of a few large meals. Because the body uses more energy and blood flow to digest a large meal, eating small meals can reduce dizziness.” Drink plenty of water: Especially before and during a meal. Drinking a glass or two of water can increase the amount of blood volume in a person’s body so that their blood pressure is less likely to drop. Choose foods that take longer to digest: Such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. High-sugar foods and refined carbohydrates (like white bread, rice and potatoes) digest rapidly and increase the risk for postprandial hypotension. Avoid standing for too long after eating: get up slowly during the first hour as this is the time when dizziness after eating is most likely to occur. Avoid foods known to trigger dizziness: such as caffeine, alcohol and high-sodium foods. If your dizziness is the result of eating a certain food or having a food allergy, avoid that food. It is equally crucial to maintain balance and moderation to avoid the occasional culinary-induced spin. Talk to your doctor: Get a medical check-up to pinpoint the exact underlying cause and get treatment.

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